Apart from the sole goal from Wayne Rooney, which needed some inch perfect movement by the centre forward as well as a brilliant cross from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Stoke City had hardly put a step wrong for much of the game. Following their poor season in the domestic league last campaign, Mark Hughes has been quite active in the summer transfer window.
They welcome Arsenal next, a side that conceded three goals at home against Leicester City last game. Hughes would be optimistic about going forward against them having an assuring defence at the back to prevent mistakes that the Foxes did.
Predicted 3-4-2-1 Stoke City Line-up vs Arsenal
Jack Butland will continue to take his place under the bar. Following his brilliant breakthrough season in the league in the 2015-16 season, the 24-year-old goalkeeper has come back as a regular for the Potters and Hughes has more than enough confidence in him. He denied Everton some genuine chances last day and would hope for a similar game this week too.
The back-three is expected to be Ryan Shawcross, Bruno Martins Indi and Kurt Zouma. Although Geoff Cameron has all the experience and attributes to take up the role in the central defence, this trio would be more effective and can keep the team more on the attacking foot. Stoke are also in talks of getting Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham Hotspur that would undoubtedly make them Top 10 contenders.
In the likes of Joe Allen and Darren Fletcher, Stoke City have one of the most balanced midfield duos in the league and could create problems for any team in the world. Stoke did come close to scoring against Everton but lacked an attacking edge up front to make the difference.
The wing backs are expected to be Eric Pieters and Mame Diouf, and honestly, they aren’t the best wing back candidates in the league by far. They could impact little from the flanks but Stoke’s robust central defence means, Hughes can afford to take that risk.
The two playmakers could be Xherdan Shaqiri and Jese Rodriguez. And it goes without saying that they remain one of the most dangerous pairings in the attacking midfield. The Spaniard comes to bet365 Stadium from Ligue1 giants Paris Saint-Germain after a not so good season with USD Las Palmas. PSG wants the player to get back his sharpness fast after the knee ligament injury that he had suffered last season.
The attack is likely to be led by Saido Berahino although the young English forward has failed to impress any way whatsoever.
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